By Cole Henry, mmatorch Contributor

Liddell vs. Ortiz 3
November 24, 2018
Inglewood, CA from The Forum
Live on Pay-Per-View (9 PM ET)

Preliminary Quick Results

Pay-Per-View Main Card

The presentation is great so far. They have Frank Mir, Rashad Evans, and Josh Grisham working the booth, a nice cage setup, and great sound and production quality so far. We have a six-fight main card tonight that includes several notable names and prospects. This is the first MMA event promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and so far, it has a great feel to it.

Jay Silva vs. Oscar Cota (Heavyweight/265)

Round 1: Jay Silva is a UFC vet who competed in the middleweight division. He has had quite an up and down career since then and seems to now be testing himself in the heavyweight division, something he has done a few times before. Cota has an 8-1 record and hasn’t lost since 2013. Long feeling out process to start the fight. We’re about a minute in and nobody has landed. Both guys are being warned for holding open hands. Cota is attacking with kicks, he lands a nice round house kick to the body and immediately follows it up with a takedown attempt. Cota has the under hook and he is controlling Silva against the fence. Silva attempted a takedown, but Cota used the fence to keep himself up. Mir is saying that a fence grab is an automatic point deduction. It will be interested to see if that is enforced. It looked like Cota just gripped the fence but no penalty. Cota is back in control with under hooks against the fence. We see a separation due to inactivity and they are back in the center. Cota lands a big right hand and forces the fight right back against the fence. 10-9 Cota

Round 2: They are exchanging early! Big shots are landing for both guys and Cota is down! Silva swarms him on the ground and he is attacking with punches! He moves into mount and Cota is in serious trouble here. Silva…okay well I am not sure what just happened. The ref warned Silva over something and Silva then just let Cota up even though the ref didn’t tell him to. Cota is now back in control with hooks against the cage. That was a miscommunication there and it hurt Silva. Cota is taking some heavy breathes and Silva is starting to abuse his body with knees and punches in the clinch. These knees are starting to do some damage! Cota is just exhausted, and he cannot escape the cage. Lots of cage work here. Cota is struggling for a takedown, but Silva won’t let it happen and the ref is threatening a separation. And there it is…this ref is not playing any games tonight. Cota just connected with a low blow and okay…the ref is just taking points. He just took two points from Cota I think, one for the low blow and one for a glove grab at some point. So…I guess it’s a 10-7 round? 10-7 Silva

Round 3: Cota is looking for a takedown early. He is throwing some big punches, but Silva is returning fire! Its rare to see two heavyweights still brawling like this in the third round. Both guys are tired, but they are going at it. They are fighting for position against the fence and Silva scores with a trip takedown. Silva is looking for an arm-triangle and the ref says its over! Really good fight all things considered.

Result: Jay Silva def. Oscar Cota via Submission (Arm-Triangle) Round 3, 2:13

Analysis: Good back and forth heavyweight fight between two relatively unknown fighters. It was back and forth for the most part, but Cota seemed to really struggle with cardio in the later rounds. It’s goes hard to say where Silva goes from here but if Golden Boy has a second show he seems like a good candidate for the card. Frank Mir is under contract with Bellator but perhaps he would make for a good opponent for Silva? Silva is a BJJ Brown Belt under Renzo Gracie and he can certainly brawl, so it may be a fun fight for Mir at this point in his career.

Albert Morales vs. James Barnes (Bantamweight/135)

Round 1: Barnes is looking for a takedown early and he gets it. He is looking to pass into half guard, but Morales is fighting it. Barnes is landing some nice punches here in the ground. Morales is attempting a triangle from his back. He doesn’t really have it though and Barnes is landing some big hammer fists. Barnes escapes and he is now pressuring Morales from half guard. Morales is looking to set up another triangle, but Barnes is wise to it. Morales is really working for this triangle, but Barnes is just nailing him with shots. Morales is relentless though and Barnes needs to be careful though he appears to be fine for now. 10-9 Barnes

Round 2: Barnes scores early with another takedown. He is just putting his weight on Morales and hitting him with short punches. They are eventually going to take a toll on Morales. Barnes has trapped an arm in a sort of crucifix position and he is absolutely dominating Morales in these grapping exchanges. Unfortunately for Morales most of this fight has been a series of grappling exchanges. Barnes is moving for the back while still keeping an arm trapped. He scrambles into top position as Morales recovers guard. Barnes is looking to pass guard, but Morales is maintaining control of one leg with his half guard. Morales is looking for another triangle, but he will run out of time. 10-8 Barnes

Round 3: Morales stuffs an early takedown attempt from Barnes. Barnes moves in again though and completes a heavy takedown. Morales yelled out either in pain or frustration but either way he has Barnes on him looking to isolate an arm. Morales is throwing some elbows from his back, but Barnes is just smothering him with pressure. Barnes takes the back with two hooks and he is looking for a rear naked choke with about 3 minutes left in the round. Morales escapes but Barnes is looking again to isolate an arm. Morales is looking to set up another triangle, but it just isn’t there, Barnes has not made a single mistake on the ground tonight. Barnes is threatening for an armbar and he’s going to get it. Total domination for Barnes.

Result: James Barnes def. Albert Morales via Submission (Armbar) Round 3, 4:09

Analysis: James Barnes is not a guy that I was familiar with and they are saying that he is 36 years old so who knows how much more we will see of him. But he looked incredible tonight and his performance should earn him some sort of an opportunity somewhere. So far we are two fights into the main card and both have been exciting fights with impressive performances by previously little known fighters.  

Walel Watson vs. Ricardo Palacios (Catchweight/140)

Round 1: Watson lands a spinning back kick, but Palacios catches him with a right hand as he re-sets. Watson has a pretty significant reach advantage. Both guys are very tentative so far through the first three minutes of the round. Palacios connects with a big over hand right and Watson is hurt! Palacios is swarming him, but Watson is firing back with front kicks! Palacios connects with a big left hook and then a right and Watson is falling! Palacios nails him with a Headkick on the way down and this fight is over! That was a very impressive finishing sequence there. It was a right hook that hurt him, a left that knocked him down and a Headkick that finished him as he was standing back up. Good stuff there.

Result: Ricardo Palacios def. Walel Watson via KO (Punches and Headkick) Round 1, 3:56

Analysis: Palacios missed weight but quickly erased that from people’s memories with his performance. Watson wasn’t able to utilize his size and reach advantage and Palacios crushed him once he caught him.

Gleison Tibau vs. Efrain Escudero (Catchweight/160)

Round 1: This is the first time that Gleison Tibau has competed outside of the UFC since 2007. He has the third most fights in UFC history at 28 while Escudero is a 12 fight UFC vet himself as well as a former ultimate fighter winner. Tibau is attacking early with some heavy shots. Escudero is covering up but a few of them are getting through! Tibau is now controlling things against the fence and working hard for a takedown. Tibau completes a double let and moves right into side control. Tibau is working to pass guard and in the process, he is completely controlling Escudero, who isn’t offering up much of anything from his back. Tibau has moved into mount and he is looking to open things up with some punches. Tibau is looking for a triangle but the round will end. 10-9 Tibau

Round 2: They are trading shots early. Escudero connects with a good shot and then completes a takedown. He is landing some hard elbows from the top position inside of Tibau’s guard. Escudero might have hurt Tibau with a few of those punches when they were trading on the feet. It was hard to tell but he certainly connected with a few. Escudero is beating up Tibau here on the ground but Tibau is working to get back to his feet. Escudero is riding him though and making things very difficult. They are scrambling and Tibau is the one gaining control and landing most of the shots as the round ends. 10-9 Escudero

Round 3: Tibau goes for a takedown early but Escudero manages to make it to the fence to keep himself up. Tibau changes levels for another takedown but Escudero shakes him and lands a few shots. Tibau is moving forward but he’s eating punches as he does so. Escudero is looking for the takedown this time but Tibau won’t let him have it. Tibau forces things against the fence as he continues working for a takedown. 10-9 Tibau (29-28 Tibau)

Result: Gleison Tibau def. Efrain Escudero via Unanimous Decision

Analysis: Good fight overall between two solid veterans. Tibau outworked him a bit though and that’s why he won. With this win Tibau has snapped a four-fight losing streak.

Deron Winn vs. Tom Lawlor (Light-heavyweight/205)

Round 1: Winn is looking for the chin early. He is landing hooks and Lawlor is mostly just doing what he can to avoid them. Lawlor is busted open beneath both eyes. Winn is staying on him and pressuring him, he’s starting to really bust Lawlor up here. Winn is tucking his head and moving in with hooks and most of them are landing. Slow first round but Winn looked good. 10-9 Winn

Round 2: Winn lands early and Lawlor drops to one knee before recovering. Its more of the same so far, Winn is just stalking, and landing and Lawlor looks out of rhythm. Winn connects with a left hook and then a right. Lawlor returns a left hook of his own that lands and he’s trying to move forward. Lawlor lands a straight left and then a left hook to follow it up. Lawlor appears to have turned it up a bit here mid-way through the second round. Winn connects with a big right hook! Lawlor is taking a beating here. We have a brief stop in the action due to what I believe was an eye-poke just before the round ends. 10-9 Winn

Round 3: Winn scores early with a takedown and he moves right into side control. This is bad news for Tom Lawlor. Lawlor is working to get back to his feet, but Winn is staying on him. Lawlor escapes and they are back in the center. Lawlor lands a solid kick to the body of Winn with just over two minutes left in the round. Winn drops for a takedown, but Lawlor grabs hold of a guillotine choke and he is cranking it! Winn is surviving though and pops out. Winn is back in top position and Lawlor is doing what he can from his back, but it isn’t much. 10-9 Winn (30-27 Winn)

Result: Deron Winn def. Tom Lawlor via Unanimous Decision

Analysis: Dominant win for Winn. Tom Lawlor hadn’t fought in two years coming into this fight and it showed.


Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz (Light-heavyweight/205)

Well here we go…Ortiz vs. Liddell III

Round 1: Chuck Liddell is looking a bit rough here early on just in terms of movement. Ortiz is hesitant to engage though. Liddell’s footwork is off here, and he can’t set anything up. Ortiz connects with a left hook that catches Liddell on the chin. Liddell connects with a slight right straight, but it didn’t have much power on it. Ortiz is getting confident here and Liddell isn’t doing much. Ortiz connects with a big right hand and Liddell is down and out. That went about as expected. Ortiz hit him with a straight right and Liddell was out cold. Ortiz hit him a few times on the ground and I know it’s a fight but those last few shots just weren’t necessary. Ortiz gets his redemption, but it doesn’t really change much. We know who the better man was when it mattered and now we know who the better man is now that it doesn’t. Good win for Ortiz and he can now retire in peace.

Result: Tito Ortiz def. Chuck Liddell via KO (Punch) Round 1, 4:24

Analysis: It was what was expected. People will now come out and criticize De La Hoya, and both fighters involved. They will say De La Hoya’s efforts were misguided, and that no doctor should have cleared Liddell to fight. People will say its “disgusting”, “exploitive”, and a number of other unfair words but the bottom line is that it was a fight between two guys who signed up to fight. The look on Chuck Liddell’s face when he entered the arena for the fight was priceless and you could see the joy in his face. He didn’t get the result he wanted but he is grown man and he did what he wanted to do.





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